Tomorrow, in a Year

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Tomorrow, in a Year
Tomorrow, in a Year.png
Studio album by
The Knife in collaboration with Mt. Sims and Planningtorock
Released1 February 2010 (2010-02-01)
Recorded2008–09; Berlin, Stockholm, Copenhagen
Label Rabid
  • The Knife
  • Mt. Sims
  • Planningtorock
The Knife chronology
Silent Shout
Tomorrow, in a Year
Shaking the Habitual
Planningtorock chronology
Have It All
Tomorrow, in a Year
Singles from Tomorrow, in a Year
  1. "Seeds"
    Released: 7 December 2010 [1]

Tomorrow, in a Year is the studio version of the music commissioned by the Danish performance group Hotel Pro Forma for its opera based on Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species . [2] It is a collaboration between The Knife, Mt. Sims and Planningtorock. It was released digitally on 1 February 2010 through The Knife's own label Rabid Records prior to the physical release.

Charles Darwin British naturalist, author of "On the Origin of Species, by Means of Natural Selection"

Charles Robert Darwin, was an English naturalist, geologist and biologist, best known for his contributions to the science of evolution. His proposition that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors is now widely accepted, and considered a foundational concept in science. In a joint publication with Alfred Russel Wallace, he introduced his scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection, in which the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding. Darwin has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history, and he was honoured by burial in Westminster Abbey.

<i>On the Origin of Species</i> A work of scientific literature by Charles Darwin which is considered to be the foundation of evolutionary biology

On the Origin of Species, published on 24 November 1859, is a work of scientific literature by Charles Darwin which is considered to be the foundation of evolutionary biology. Darwin's book introduced the scientific theory that populations evolve over the course of generations through a process of natural selection. It presented a body of evidence that the diversity of life arose by common descent through a branching pattern of evolution. Darwin included evidence that he had gathered on the Beagle expedition in the 1830s and his subsequent findings from research, correspondence, and experimentation.

The Knife Swedish electronic music duo

The Knife were a Swedish electronic music duo from Gothenburg, formed in 1999. The group consisted of siblings Karin and Olof Dreijer, who together also run their own record company, Rabid Records. The group gained a large international following in response to their 2003 album Deep Cuts.


The lyrics contain excerpts of Darwin's writings, particularly On the Origin of Species . These are often without context, though the meaning of some songs is clear, for example 'Seeds' refers to Darwin's experiments to determine why certain plants are found on the coasts of many continents, despite their separation, in which he demonstrated that seeds of some plants remain viable after weeks in cold seawater, and 'Annie's Box' refers to the pivotal moment when Darwin's daughter Annie died of tuberculosis, which damaged his Christian faith, helping him to overcome his fears about the church's reaction to On the Origin of Species.

The music appears to have been composed to reflect the long arc of evolution, with the first songs having a hard, noisy and simple quality, subsequent tracks building in beauty and complexity, and incorporating progressively more lyrics and musical sounds based on animal vocalisations. Choreography was also inspired by animal behaviour including the courtship dances of birds. The opera was completed in 2009 to mark the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species and toured Europe in 2010.

The album was recorded, mixed and produced in Berlin, Stockholm and Copenhagen between 2008 and 2009. Recording for the live percussion took place at Sounds Studio in Iceland, while outdoor sounds were recorded at the Mamori Artlab Workshop on the Amazon River, Brazil. Tomorrow, In a Year features guest appearances by mezzo-soprano Kristina Wahlin, Danish actress Lærke Winther Andersen and Swedish pop artist Jonathan Johansson. [3]

Berlin Capital of Germany

Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,748,148 (2018) inhabitants make it the second most populous city proper of the European Union after London. The city is one of Germany's 16 federal states. It is surrounded by the state of Brandenburg, and contiguous with Potsdam, Brandenburg's capital. The two cities are at the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg capital region, which is, with about six million inhabitants and an area of more than 30,000 km², Germany's third-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr and Rhine-Main regions.

Stockholm Capital of Sweden

Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and the most populous urban area in the Nordic countries; 965,232 people live in the municipality, approximately 1.6 million in the urban area, and 2.4 million in the metropolitan area. The city stretches across fourteen islands where Lake Mälaren flows into the Baltic Sea. Outside the city to the east, and along the coast, is the island chain of the Stockholm archipelago. The area has been settled since the Stone Age, in the 6th millennium BC, and was founded as a city in 1252 by Swedish statesman Birger Jarl. It is also the county seat of Stockholm County.

Copenhagen Capital of Denmark

Copenhagen is the capital and most populous city of Denmark. As of July 2018, the city has a population of 777,218. It forms the core of the wider urban area of Copenhagen and the Copenhagen metropolitan area. Copenhagen is situated on the eastern coast of the island of Zealand; another small portion of the city is located on Amager, and it is separated from Malmö, Sweden, by the strait of Øresund. The Øresund Bridge connects the two cities by rail and road.

Track listing

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Metacritic 67/100 [4]
Review scores
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svg [5]
BBC Music positive [6]
Drowned in Sound 10/10 [7]
musicOMH Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg [8]
Pitchfork 6.9/10 [9]
PopMatters 5/10 [10]
Resident Advisor 3.5/5 [11]
The Skinny Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [12]
Slant Magazine Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svg [13]
Sputnikmusic 4.5/5 [14]
Disc one
1."Intro" The Knife 4:32
2."Epochs"The Knife, Mt. Sims 5:43
3."Geology"The Knife, Mt. Sims4:24
4."Upheaved"The Knife, Mt. Sims3:03
5."Minerals"The Knife, Mt. Sims1:18
6."Ebb Tide Explorer"The Knife, Mt. Sims7:06
7."Variation of Birds"The Knife, Mt. Sims6:41
8."Letter to Henslow"The Knife, Mt. Sims, Planningtorock 2:01
9."Schoal Swarm Orchestra"The Knife, Planningtorock8:36
Disc two
1."Annie's Box"The Knife4:28
2."Tumult"The Knife3:28
3."Colouring of Pigeons"The Knife, Mt. Sims11:01
4."Seeds"The Knife, Mt. Sims9:00
5."Tomorrow in a Year"The Knife, Mt. Sims12:20
6."The Height of Summer"The Knife3:47
7."Annie's Box" (Alt. Vocal) (bonus track)The Knife4:54


Credits for Tomorrow, In a Year adapted from album liner notes. [15]

Jam Rostron, better known by their stage name Planningtorock, is an English electronic musician and record producer who lives in Berlin, Germany.

Hildur Guðnadóttir Icelandic musician

Hildur Ingveldardóttir Guðnadóttir is an Icelandic musician and composer. A classically trained cellist, she has played and recorded with the bands Pan Sonic, Throbbing Gristle, Múm and Stórsveit Nix Noltes, and has also toured with Animal Collective and Sunn O))).

Jonathan Johansson, born August 29, 1980, is a Swedish musician and singer-songwriter from Malmö. He is currently on Hybris Records.


Chart (2010)Peak
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders) [16] 79
Swedish Albums Chart [17] 24
US Dance/Electronic Albums [18] 10
US Heatseekers Albums [18] 32

Release history

Germany [19] 1 February 2010 Cooperative Music Digital download
Sweden [20] Rabid Records
United States [21] 2 February 2010 Mute Records
Australia [22] 5 February 2010 Etcetc
Sweden [23] 26 February 2010Rabid Records2CD
Australia [24] 5 March 2010Etcetc
Germany [25] Cooperative Music
United Kingdom [26] 8 March 2010 Brille Records
United States [27] 9 March 2010Mute Records
United Kingdom [28] 30 November 2012Brille RecordsDigital download

Critical Reception

Drownedinsound gave the studio album 10/10, describing it as "coldly overwhelming". Pitchfork reviewed the album 6.9/10, saying the album "either demands your full attention or invites you to turn it off". [29] [30] BBC Music described the album as "complicated, esoteric and, yes, really quite bonkers". [31] The opera was rated 3/5 by the Guardian, with the reviewer criticising the harsh sound of the first several tracks, the very gradual introduction of vocals and the contextless way in which Darwin's writing was generally presented. [32]

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Karin Elisabeth Dreijer is a Swedish singer-songwriter and record producer. Dreijer was one half of the electronic music duo the Knife, formed with xer brother Olof Dreijer. Xe was previously the vocalist and guitarist of the alternative rock band Honey Is Cool. Dreijer released xer debut solo album under the alias Fever Ray in January 2009. Xer second studio album, Plunge, under the same alias, was released in October 2017.

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  6. "BBC review".
  7. "Drowned in Sound review".
  8. "MusicOMH review".
  9. "Pitchfork Media review".
  10. "Pop Matters review".
  11. "Resident Advisor review".
  12. "The Skinny review".
  13. "Slant Magazine review".
  14. "Sputnikmusic review".
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  29. Drowned in Sound
  30. Pitchfork
  31. BBC Music Reviews Tomorrow, in a Year
  32. The Guardian - Tomorrow in a Year